The WiR: Tumblr Launches Live Video, Soundcloud Pilots Video Ads and Tencent Buys Majority Stake in Supercell

In this week’s Week in Review: Unruly releases vertical ad format, Soundcloud pilots video ads and ConvertMedia integrates with DPS and SSP partners. To receive a weekly summary of industry news and other VAN interviews and videos, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Tumblr Launches Live Video
Blogging site Tumblr now allows users to broadcast live videos. Live Video Tumblr outsources the technical capabilities to third-party, live streaming apps, including YouNow, AOL’s Kanvas, YouTube and Upclose.

Tencent Acquires Majority Shareholding of Supercell
Clash of Clans creator, Supercell, has been acquired by Chinese media giant Tencent. Expected to be finalised in Q3 2016, the acquisition will give Tencent an immediate global footprint and access to the 100 million daily players of games such as Clash of Clans, Hay Day and Boom Beach.

Soundcloud Pilots Video Ads
US users will be able to be part of the new Soundcloud’s new video ads. The music app claims to have 175 million active users, meaning it is likely to generate additional revenue with the implementation of global ads. 

Vimeo Claims Victory Over EMI
A US appeals court has ruled in favour of Vimeo in a legal battle between the online video service and EMI. The court said Vimeo was not infringing copyright law by unknowingly hosting videos that had older music contained within them.

User Experience In Digital Marketing Needs Improving
The number of smartphone owners who use ad-blocking software has jumped by 90 percent in the past year, according to a whitepaper by IAB, Kargo and Refinery29 called “Improving Digital Advertising Experiences with Liquid Creativity”. The three companies surveyed 283 marketers and media agency executives last month and found that nearly three-quarters of them believe that user experience needs improvement in digital marketing.

ConvertMedia Integrates with 11 DSP and SSP Partners
Outstream video SSP, ConvertMedia, have partnered with 11 leading DSP and RTB companies. The partnerships will provide access to ConvertMedia’s outstream video portfolio of over 10 formats for desktop and mobile including the Inline, Interstitial, Slider, Coffee Break, and Slideshow.

Unruly Releases Vertical Ad Format
Unruly Media has released its new vertical video ad format with News Corp. The format is purpose built for mobile audiences and will be made to advertisers across its stable of titles, including The Sun and New York Post.

Mobile Apps Boosted By TV Ads
TV is a significant driver of traffic for mobile app, according to the Video Advertising Bureau’s (VAB) “What’s App’ning” report. The report found a 77 per cent correlation between TV advertising and traffic for 60 popular mobile apps. 

Mobile app

More Video Stats For Advertisers on Twitter
Advertisers have now got access to more data and tools to help gauge how their videos are working on Twitter. Twitter and Innovid have formed a partnership that gives Amplify advertisers viewability stats and numbers about who is watching their advert. Amplify, Twitter’s offering that runs preroll ads before video clips, serves companies like ESPN, Buzzfeed and AOL.

Ad-Blocking Solution For Small Businesses
Anti-ad blocking startup Oriel has launched a WordPress plugin, which it claims can help small-to-medium size publishers cope with the impact of ad blocking. The plug-in operates similarly to Google analytics but with Oriel’s offering publishers only need to install the plug-in on their WordPress account, as opposed to writing code or installing scripts on webpages.

Over Half of Twitter Links are Unopened 
Almost six in ten links shared from media outlets on Twitter are never opened by users, according to a new study conducted by Microsoft in collaboration with Columbia University. The report showed that 59 per cent of URLs shared on the microblogging site are never clicked, including by those who share them. 

Twitter Invests in Magic Pony Technology
Machine learning startup Magic Pony Technology has teamed with Twitter in a move that will help Twitter bolster its image sharing, video and live-streaming experiences using Magic Pony’s neural network, which is designed to think like a human brain.

Majority of Urban Populations Remain Unconnected
The majority of the global urban population remains unconnected, according to an independent research study commissioned by the Wireless Broadband Alliance, to mark the inaugural World Wi-Fi Day. The study also found that more than a third of these unconnected are living in some of the world’s wealthiest cities.

Satellite “Vital” To Future Video Landscape
SES considers satellite vital to the success of the future video landscape and provides the answer to delivering high quality video, anywhere, and to any device.

YouTube Top Streaming Site
Netflix is now the most watched on-demand video service in the US, beating YouTube into second place, according to Ampere Analysis. The report shows that Netflix now has a 47 per cent share of streaming consumers in the U.S, ahead of YouTube with 42 per cent.

Freewheel Calls For Programmatic Reform
Programmatic models need to align with premium video’s unique characteristics, according to The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video’s position paper, Reconstructing Programmatic for Premium Video.

UK Ad Market Increases Again
UK advertising is set to see the seventh successive year of recovery and the nation will remain one of the fastest-growing media markets in 2016, according to GroupM. An increase of 6.3 per cent in spending takes the industry to a predicted investment of £17.3 billion.

Less Than A Third of Teens Would Pay For Content
Just 12 per cent of teenagers feel service providers understand their lifestyle and offer services to match it, according to an Amdocs survey. Of the teenagers surveyed, 30 per cent report experiencing bad customer service from their CSP over the past year, and 46 percent say they will not use that CSP again. A third of respondents then shared this information with families and friends.

U.S. Households Stream Nearly Four Hours of Internet a Week
U.S. broadband households watch an average of 3.8 hours of Internet video on TV screens each week, Parks Associates has found. This amount accounts for 20 per cent of all video viewed on this device.

Risks of Free Online Streaming Exposed
Whilst watching free online viewing, viewers are often exposed to malware infections, personal data theft, and scams, researchers from KU Leuven-iMinds and Stony Brook University have found.

Facebook Scraps Embedded Video Links
Facebook has withdrawn the ability for video creators to embed links into their clips. The call to action feature had been popular with broadcasters, who used it as a way to steer users to their own sites.

Netflix Drives 35 Per Cent of North American Web Traffic
Netflix represents 35.2 per cent of peak period downstream traffic on North American fixed internet networks, according to new research by broadband network solutions firm Sandvine. The study said YouTube accounted for the second-greatest amount of downstream traffic at 17.5 per cent, followed by Amazon video in third place with 4.3 per cent.

Four in Five Millennials Subscribe to OTT
Around 80 per cent of millennials subscribe to at least one over-the-top (OTT) service, Limelight Networks’ “State of Online Video” report has found. The report showed that 39 per cent report watching at least seven hours of online video per week.

Neustar and Simulmedia Join Forces on Measurement
Information service provider, Neustar, and Simulmedia have formed a partnership that aims to offer a complete end-to-end linear TV activation and measurement solution.

Digital Altitude Reports Self-Serve Programmatic Platform
Since releasing its self serve programmatic platform in April, Arena, Altitude Digital has reported 45 new platform publishers and 15 new DSP integrations in the platform. Arena is Altitude’s customisable, self-serve SSP, which is what online publishers use to manage their ad inventory, in this case video ads.

Content-Only DSP Sets New Rules for Native
Spartan, a demand-side platform focused purely on content, gives visibility to brands and agencies on content performance from all suppliers from one platform. Released by Avid Media, Spartan maximises the efficiencies of programmatic content marketing by automating the process of placing native content and accurately targeting it to the right audience in the right media at the right time.

Yahoo Expands Content Marketing Offerings
Yahoo has unveiled a full service content marketing studio for brands and agencies that leverages Yahoo’s editorial expertise, extensive data, and native advertising through Yahoo Gemini. Yahoo Storytellers offers advertisers a full suite of capabilities to build successful content marketing strategies, including: content consulting services and curriculum-based workshops, development of video and a full range of editorial content, influencer activations across social platforms, and partnership extensions.

Digital Growth Fuelled By Programmatic, Video and Mobile
Global ad expenditure will grow 4.1 per cent in 2016, reaching $537 billion by the end of the year, according to the ZenithOptimedia “Global Ad Spend Forecast”. The report shows that overall ad spend will enjoy its strongest growth in six years of 5.4 per cent, reaching $480 billion this year, which will be largely driven by double-digit gains in digital media.


Instagram Celebrates 500 Million Monthly Users
Photo-sharing site, Instagram, has achieved 500 million users. Instagram has said more than 300 million of these use the app every single day, and that 80 per cent of the user-base was based outside of the U.S.

Vine Introduces Longer Videos
Twitter users can create and share videos that are up to over two minutes-long, while a select group of Vine creators are beta testing this function on the short-form platform. Vine is also said to be exploring monetisation opportunities for creators in partnership with Twitter’s Amplify Open automated ad marketplace, which could theoretically involve selling video ads.

87 Million People to Use Ad-Blockers In 2017
The number of people in the U.S. using an ad blocker is expected to reach 86.6 million in 2017, a report from eMarketer has found. This is an increase of 24 per cent from this year, where the research company predicts that 69.8 million people will use an ad blocker by the end of 2016.

Facebook and Instagram To Build Better Mobile Ads With Collaboration Tools
More collaborative tools to build specifically mobile ads for its platforms is on the agenda for Facebook. At Cannes they have unveiled the Facebook Creative Hub, which is designed to help Facebook and Instagram ad creators more easily manage their multi-party workflow. In the coming months, ad agencies and their clients will be able to work on campaigns on the platform, which will include being able to watch test video ads on their smartphones before they launch. Facebook Canvas has also teamed up with Undertone to improve ad targeting and speed.

VR Company Confirms YouTube Team Line-Up
Staff from YouTube and Disney have been named in the line-up for the VR company River Studios. The LA-based studio was born out of technology venture capital firm Rothenberg Ventures and was founded by Harvard Business School graduate Mike Rothenberg, who takes the CEO role.

Com Hem Explores VR
Swedish Com Hem has developed a “virtual reality-based environment” for its online service Com Hem Play, as part of an experiment with VR technology. The platform is designed for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets.

Edgeware Support CMAF
Edgeware has confirmed support for the Common Media Application Format (CMAF), a media streaming format standardisation effort jointly led by Microsoft and Apple to streamline Internet video delivery.

Sony Makes Investment in Interlude
Interactive video studio, Interlude, has received investment from Sony. The investment should allow Interlude to create videos that allow viewers to determine the videos’ outcomes.

Global Ad Market to Grow 5.4 Per Cent
Globally, media owner advertising revenues will grow by 5.4 per cent in 2016, Magna Intelligence has predicted. That compares with a growth of 4.8 per cent and 3.2 per cent in the December 2015 forecast.

Vivendi Acquires More Ubisoft Shares
Vivendi has acquired more than 20 per cent of games company, Ubisoft. The French media giant owns 20.1 per cent of the share capital and 17.76 per cent of Ubisoft’s voting rights.

Hires of the Week:

Adform Expands Management Team
Rubicon’s Jay Stevens has joined as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Adform. Another former Rubicon employee, Oliver Whitten, will be joining Adform in August as Chief Operating Officer (COO). As CRO, Jay Stevens will have responsibility for driving global revenue across all Adform markets, including Europe, the U.S., Asia Pacific and Latin America.

SpotX Appoints David Guy, Promotes Katherine McHugh to Director of Demand Facilitation
SpotX is growing its demand development team with the appointment of David Guy. Joining from Tremor, Guy will work with agencies, trading desks and advertisers in the UK and Southern Europe to improve the reach and effectiveness of their cross-screen video advertising campaigns.

This Week on VAN:

Five Notes on the State of Ad Tech in Europe, read more on VAN

Video’s Watershed Moment: The Death of Flash and Why HTML5 VPAID Is Now a Must, read more on VAN

Brexit Campaigns Have Missed the Video Opportunity, Remain Most Likely to be Affected say TubeMogul, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week: Gillette, Go Ask Dad, Grey New York

Which is a better teacher: your dad or the internet? Gillette’s father’s day video will warm your heart. 

Subscribe to Weekly VAN Newsletter